Posts

On Science and Philosophy

Author: Claus D. Volko Basically I agree with Karl Popper's notion of the logic of scientific discovery: science is all about testing hypotheses. It is the scientist's job to try to disprove hypotheses. On the other hand, what should the process of coming up with hypotheses be called? In my opinion, it should be called: philosophy. The person who invents hypotheses is a philosopher. When you do a PhD, your task is to investigate hypotheses assigned to you by your supervisor. A PhD programme is supposed to train you as a scientist. The scientist is the one who tests the hypotheses. It is possible that there is a personal union of the one who comes up with the hypothesis and the one who tests it. But usually this is not the case, as the same hypothesis is often tested by several scientists. The philosopher is the person who comes up with new hypotheses. That is why the journal "Medical Hypotheses" is actually not a scientific but a philosophical journal. A scientific jo

Why you are served stilts before beer at the Schweizerhaus

Why you are served stilts before beer at the Schweizerhaus and other scientific explanations of cultural phenomena Author: Claus D. Volko Every year, Professor Bernd Binder, head of the Institute of Vascular Biology and Thrombosis Research at the University of Vienna, gives the main lecture from Vegetative Physiology in the summer semester. Although this lecture is regularly scheduled for the 4th semester of medical school, due to time constraints many students do not get around to attending it until the 6th semester - if at all. This is a pity, because this lecture has a lot to offer. It is true that a good knowledge of anatomy, histology and biochemistry is required to be able to follow Professor Binder's explanations. But for that you get a rich reward; you learn many an interesting context. What is particularly exciting: to learn to understand the physiological background of various elements of our culture. I would like to reproduce some of these fascinating explanations in thi

We need better psychometric instruments

Author: Claus D. Volko The intelligence tests that are currently in use do not suffice to detect extreme talent. We need new instruments to detect intelligence levels that correspond to an IQ of 160, 170, 180, 190 or even higher. I recently visited the website of Syncritic Institute, an institute for academics with an IQ of 175 or higher. The founder states that science has been stagnating since the 1970s because the IQ of scientists has diminished and his institute has the ambition to change this. I do not know any intelligence test that reliably measures IQ scores of 175 or higher. I recall my own history of intelligence testing: The first official test I took was the Mensa admission test, on which I scored only IQ 134. I immediately thought that this was an underestimate of my intellectual abilities, and, indeed, on the next test I took (a test on the Internet) I already scored IQ 156, more than a standard deviation higher. It turned out that my test scores were in the IQ 150 - 160

The Polymath

By Javier Arturo Munoz Justin As I was walking down Sixth Ave., making my way towards to the Rockefeller Center , when I saw a man whom I can only describe as ξένος βάτος . He was around six feet tall with skin dark as cinnamon. His hair was long and his beard was trimmed in a Islamic manner, he came up to me and said: ‘Good evening friend, where are you heading to?’ Caught off guard and not wanting a creepy stranger to know my daily routine, I said, ‘To the subway, I’m heading to Columbia . I have a class in two hours.’ ‘What is the class about?’ asked the Polymath. ‘It is,’ I said nervously, ‘a class about applied mathematics and quantum physics.’ ‘AHHHHHHH, are you a physicist?’ ‘No, I’m a mathematician.’ ‘Even better,’ said the Polymath as he started to grin widely. ‘I happen to be a mathematician and physicist myself, though I prefer mathematics. My name is Panagiotis Andreadakis, but I prefer the name Panagiotis Grapsia. What is the name to you? ‘Noel-Juan De Nemone,’ I responded

The Economist

By Javier Arturo Muñoz Justin As the sun was rising over the West Bay Area, there was a man walking to work. This man was your average guy, the type of guy you don’t pay much attention to while walking on the street. Despite being average in appearance, he was higher in status than most of us. Through fortunate, or rather should I say unfortunate events he was able to get through college and grad school with the help of a wealthy sponsor. The Economist was welcomed by thundering applause and millions of birthday wishes as he got off the elevator. ‘There he is, the man of the hour’ said a tall well-dressed man patting the economist on the back. ‘I would personally like to wish Pedrolas a very happy birthday and give great thanks for being such an outstanding role model for all of us during the many years he has been with us. I have never in my life met anyone who surpasses nuestro querido economista in either honor or dignity. So can we get another round of applause for our dear Pedrola

A Proof that Every Grammar for English has Self-Embedding to an Unbounded Depth

Authors: Daniel Pohl, Iakovos Koukas, Noam Chomsky Introduction The distinction between competence and performance has played a foundational role in the philosophy of linguistics. Competence is a grasp of the structural properties of all the sentences of a language. Performance involves actual real-time use and may diverge from the underlying competence. Idealizing away from psycholinguistically relevant factors like limits on memory and processing plays a significant role in various essential debates within the field of linguistics. Perhaps the most central and famous is the issue of whether English is a finite-state language. This article provides a proof of the relevant theorem, originally from Chomsky 1959. The claim that any finite-state automaton does not accept English is supported by showing that every grammar for English has self-embedding to an unbounded depth. Self-Embedding The economical production forms for context-free languages, especially the Chomsky normal-for

Day of Wrath

In the land of Esmeralda lived a boy named Flanders. Not yet eighteen years old, he had already made a name for himself a name as an artist and composer. At the age of six he had already painted a of his older sister Gisela, a very beautiful young woman, and with this work he had his abilities as a painter impressively demonstrated. At the same time, he also began to play the piano and was soon able to play all the national anthems of the world and composed his own serenades and fugues. Flanders had also tried his hand as a dramatist. At the age of sixteen, his play "The Scent of Marigolds" had its world premiere, which was highly praised by the media. With unusual elegance, Flanders described the effect of the local flora on the female sex. The play was so dramatic that it captured the hearts of the audience and remained in their memories for a long time. Flanders also occasionally worked on mathematics; he succeeded in solving several hitherto unresolved problems and provin